The Chain Reaction That Doomed SpaceX's Rocket

A steel strut holding a helium bottle inside a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket snapped during flight, setting off a chain reaction that destroyed the rocket during a June launch, the company’s CEO and chief rocket-designer Elon Musk said.

“One of those struts failed and was unable to hold the helium bottle down, and the helium bottle would have shot to the top of the tank at high speed,” Musk said in a call with reporters today, characterizing his analysis as an “initial assessment” that...

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